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In a letter delivered to President Joe Biden this week, civili rights activist Weldon Angelos and a number of rappers including Drake, Meek Mill, Quavo, and 2 Chainz urged Biden’s administration to pardon all non-violent cannabis offenders currently locked up in prisons across the country.
“Whatever one thinks of other drugs and other defendants, incarcerating marijuana offenders in federal prisons is a misuse of our nation’s resources and grossly hypocritical, given that a clear majority of Americans oppose marijuana prohibition and about half admit to using the drug during their lifetime,” the letter said.
“The harms of incarceration are obvious, but the pains of federal marijuana convictions transcend prison walls, making it more difficult for someone to get a job, access affordable housing, and receive an education,” it continues. “A conviction can forever limit an individual’s constitutional rights and can put the American dream further out of reach for an entire family.”
Atlanta rapper Ralo, who is currently incarcerated for his alleged connection to a drug trafficking case, was quoted thanking his peers for supporting the bill.
“I appreciate my friends and peers in the hip-hop community, especially Drake, supporting my clemency because it’s just not right that corporations are allowed to violate federal law and become millionaires while people like myself go to prison for years,” Ralo said. “This is hypocrisy. I hope that Joe Biden honors his campaign promise and grants us clemency without delay so I can return to my family and community.”
Among those who also signed the latter are rappers Killer Mike, Ty Dolla Sign, Kodak Black, Dave East, and T.I., while the athlete side is headlined by NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, Stephen Jackson, Kevin Garnett, Al Harrington, J.R. Smith, Julio Jones, and John Wall.